Loss of Consortium Claims in South Carolina

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A personal injury accident doesn’t just impact the victim. Their spouse’s life may be significantly changed, too. Loss of consortium claims in South Carolina allow a spouse to claim compensation for the ways they have been affected by a spouse’s personal injury or death.

Wrongful death attorney Robert “Bobby” Jones can help build a case that presents your side as the surviving spouse. Contact us to learn more about filing for loss of consortium.

What Is Loss of Consortium in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, a loss of consortium claim is based on losses sustained by the spouse as the result of the defendant’s tortious act. The spouse may claim compensation for the harm they have suffered, including loss of companionship, household services, and the quality of the marriage relationship.

South Carolina recognizes your losses. In addition to your spouse bringing a claim for their own personal injury damages, you may qualify to receive compensation. The word consortium means group or membership. A loss of consortium claim is based on the changed nature of your marriage relationship with your spouse.

South Carolina loss of consortium law

S.C. Code § 15-75-20 recognizes an action for damages arising from the tortious violation of the right to companionship, aid, society, and services of the injured person’s spouse. A spouse may claim compensation for the way that their marriage relationship changes because of their husband or wife’s personal injuries.

In South Carolina, loss of consortium is an independent action. It is not derivative. It accrues when the spouse sustains the injuries and the loss has actually occurred. Preer v. Mims, 323 S.C. 200 (1996).

What Are the Elements of Loss of Consortium in South Carolina?

The elements of loss of consortium in South Carolina are:

  1. Marriage between the personal injury victim and the spouse making the claim
  2. Personal injury of the victim, with the defendant having legal fault
  3. Damages compensable as loss of consortium
  4. Proximate cause between the personal injury and loss of consortium

Does South Carolina recognize loss of consortium claims for parents and children?

No. In Doe v. Greenville County School District (2007), the South Carolina Supreme Court declined to expand loss of consortium claims to parent-child relationships. A bill has been introduced to recognize filial and parental consortium, but as of this writing, it has not been passed.

See also Taylor v. Medenica, 342 S.C. 200 (1996) (declining to recognize a cause of action for parental consortium).

Damages for Loss of Consortium

Damages for loss of consortium are personal to the situation of the spouse making the claim. Types of losses may include:

  • Financial support
  • Comfort
  • Emotional support
  • Care
  • Household services
  • Quality of the marital relationship

To determine the appropriate amount of compensation, the spouse must analyze the effects of the injury on the marriage. A marital relationship isn’t something that can be bought or sold. No expert can testify about what a marriage is worth. Instead, the spouse will prepare evidence about the nature and strength of the marital relationship and how it has been impacted by the spouse’s injury.

There can’t be a double recovery. For example, if the spouse has already received compensation for lost income, it’s likely that some of the income would have supported the spouse. The spouse can’t also receive compensation for the same lost financial support.

Can you receive loss of consortium compensation for your fiancé or significant other?

No. South Carolina law recognizes loss of consortium only when the injured party and spouse are married.

Compensation for Spouses of Personal Injury Victims

As the spouse of an injured person, you already know that your life has changed. Perhaps they used to be a breadwinner, and now they rely on you for personal care. Maybe they used to take care of yard work or important household tasks. Maybe you can no longer rely on them as a source of emotional support. The nature of the marriage relationship has changed.

As your lawyer, Robert “Bobby” Jones will work for you to receive the financial compensation you deserve.

Lawyer for Loss of Consortium Claims in South Carolina

At Bobby Jones Law, we represent people in loss of consortium claims in South Carolina. Lawyer Bobby Jones can assist you in bringing your claim for compensation. To learn more and start your case, call or message us now.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers
  • Named to Super Lawyers 2017–2024
  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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